Author Topic: György Ligeti (1923-2006)  (Read 75283 times)

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Offline Brewski

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György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« on: April 06, 2007, 05:55:57 AM »
One of my favorite composers, and hard to believe it's not even a year since his death. 

Next season Vladimir Jurowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra are presenting a concert of music used in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (except for the Brahms).  If anyone else has seen a program like this it would be interesting to know about it.  I don't recall ever hearing these two Ligeti works on the same program, much less coupled with the Strauss.

April 10, 11 and 12, 2008
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Nikolaj Znaider, violin
The Philadelphia Singers Chorale (David Hayes, music director)

Ligeti: Atmosphères
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Ligeti: Lux Aeterna (for chorus)
Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra

--Bruce
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Harry

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2007, 10:31:16 AM »
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.

Offline Brewski

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2007, 10:31:46 AM »
Well, this really isn't a recreation of the 2001 soundtrack, since it lacks both Litgeti's Requiem and The Blue Danube.

Ah, but there will no doubt be encores... ;D

--Bruce
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Offline Brewski

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007, 10:40:57 AM »
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.

Not to worry, Harry -- you listen to so many other composers that most people overlook!  With your interests, you have more breadth than many listeners.  

One of the reasons Ligeti was so revolutionary is that his musical ideas were so unusual.  Often his ideas are about texture, for example, rather than melody, so if you're in the mood for a "Straussian line" that's not what he offers.  For people who aren't familiar with the works in the film 2001 that brought him international attention, I would suggest that they begin with the Piano Etudes, which I think are pretty approachable on many levels.  If nothing else, they are diabolically difficult to play, and impressive just on that level alone.  

For example, you might enjoy Aimard's Ligeti encores on his Carnegie Hall recital CD, if you haven't heard it already.  The program includes the Berg Sonata, Beethoven's No. 23 "Appassionata," plus works by Liszt and Debussy.  

--Bruce
« Last Edit: December 22, 2007, 11:33:58 AM by bhodges »
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Offline Brewski

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 10:41:58 AM »
The Philadelphia Orchestra never does encores.

Joe, I'm joking, I'm joking!  ;D  (Although the idea of someone -- anyone -- doing the Ligeti Requiem as an encore is putting a smile on my face.)

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Harry

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 10:43:39 AM »
Not to worry, Harry -- you listen to so many other composers that most people overlook!  With your interests, you have more breadth than many listeners.  

One of the reasons Ligeti was so revolutionary is that his musical ideas were so unusual.  Often his ideas are about texture, for example, rather than melody, so if you're in the mood for a "Straussian line" that's not what he offers.  For people who aren't familiar with the works in 2001 that brought him international attention, I would suggest that they begin with the Piano Etudes, which I think are pretty approachable on many levels.  If nothing else, they are diabolically difficult to play, and impressive just on that level alone.  

For example, you might enjoy Aimard's Ligeti encores on his Carnegie Hall recital CD, if you haven't heard it already.  The program includes the Berg Sonata, Beethoven's No. 23 "Appassionata," plus works by Liszt and Debussy.  

--Bruce

Well I can certainly try!
Thanks Bruce.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2007, 11:34:53 AM by bhodges »

Symphonien

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2007, 03:43:22 AM »
Cool program there Bruce.

Well so far I've only heard his Lontano, Atmosphères, Apparitions, San Francisco Polyphony and Concert Românesc. And enjoyed it all! I'm certainly interested in discovering his piano etudes, concerti and requiem in the future.

The thing I find fascinating about Ligeti is what Bruce mentioned, the textures. It's so interesting the sounds that he produces through such massed orchestral forces. The liner notes in Ligeti Project II contain an extract from Lontano and the score has so many staves! To think how much work it would have taken to write all of that out by hand and how Ligeti was able to imagine how it would all sound in his head is simply amazing. He produces some fascinating sonorities too - there are parts in Lontano that I swear resemble electronic music. How he manages to do this with an orchestra is astounding...

Offline toledobass

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2007, 03:52:01 AM »
Joe, I'm joking, I'm joking!  ;D  (Although the idea of someone -- anyone -- doing the Ligeti Requiem as an encore is putting a smile on my face.)

--Bruce

LMAO.....if that were to happen,  somewhere a parallel universe would implode.

Allan


facehugger

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2007, 04:58:49 AM »
they should have done the kodaly instead of the brahms

neat programme though

karlhenning

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2007, 08:01:25 AM »
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.

Originally, I had planned to go to Symphony tonight, for the following program:

Ligeti, Atmosphères
Wagner, Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin
Bartók, Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor


But I made those plans without reckoning on when Easter falls this year, and since I am required at a service at St Paul's this evening, I had to select another concert.

The good news, though, is that I learnt last night that my friend Drew, a second-year (I think) student at Berklee, made it to Thursday night's concert.  (Drew is studying composition, and he wants to write music for video games, among other things.)  Apart from the Tchaikovsky, all the program was new to him;  and it was infectious to hear how excited he was about all four pieces on the concert.

But he was especially overwhelmed by Atmosphères.

It's just a pity you're not in Boston this weekend, Harry!  I wonder if simply experiencing the piece played well, in the space, would not 'unlock' it for you, mijn vriend.

Harry

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2007, 08:08:17 AM »
Originally, I had planned to go to Symphony tonight, for the following program:

Ligeti, Atmosphères
Wagner, Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin
Bartók, Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor


But I made those plans without reckoning on when Easter falls this year, and since I am required at a service at St Paul's this evening, I had to select another concert.

The good news, though, is that I learnt last night that my friend Drew, a second-year (I think) student at Berklee, made it to Thursday night's concert.  (Drew is studying composition, and he wants to write music for video games, among other things.)  Apart from the Tchaikovsky, all the program was new to him;  and it was infectious to hear how excited he was about all four pieces on the concert.

But he was especially overwhelmed by Atmosphères.

It's just a pity you're not in Boston this weekend, Harry!  I wonder if simply experiencing the piece played well, in the space, would not 'unlock' it for you, mijn vriend.

Well also I, have to attend many duties in church, so the weekend is pretty occupied! ;D
Welcome dear friend, I missed you!

The Emperor

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2007, 11:43:34 AM »
Atmosphères live must be something out of this world, i wish i could see that!

Harvested Sorrow

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2007, 02:28:52 PM »
I have the string quartets disc, chamber music disc, choral works and vocal works disc from the Sony Ligeti set.  I must say that I love virtually everything I've heard from this composer...and yes, I love the textures.  His texturing tends to make it very clear that he was influenced by electronic music.

Offline scottscheule

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2007, 11:52:48 AM »
So far as Atmosphères and Lontano go--I don't get it.

Offline BachQ

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2007, 01:22:13 PM »
Great idea for a thread, Bruce8)

I would suggest that they begin with the Piano Etudes, which I think are pretty approachable on many levels.  If nothing else, they are diabolically difficult to play, and impressive just on that level alone.  

Ligeti's Etudes are truly a tour de force, and they alone are enough to convince me that Ligeti is one of the greatest composers of the 20th/21st Century . . . . . . .

Offline toledobass

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2007, 05:41:44 AM »
This weekend the Cleveland orchestra will be performing Lontano.  I plan on going on Thurday and perhaps again on Sunday.  My introduction to Ligeti was in my grad school training where I played the Chamber Conterto for 13 instruments.  Soon after that performance,  my post-tonal theory class began analysis of the 10 Pieces for Wind Quintet.  I've loved the music since then but I've never had the chance to hear anything performed live.  I'm looking forward to it hearing what these textures sound like live.


Allan

karlhenning

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2007, 05:42:31 AM »
This weekend the Cleveland orchestra will be performing Lontano.  I plan on going on Thurday and perhaps again on Sunday.

Terrific, Allan!

Offline toledobass

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2007, 05:21:10 AM »
Last nights performance of Ligeti's Lontono at a Cleveland Orchestra concert was a revelation.  It is quite remarkable to hear this music live especially when performed by world class musicians.  As I imagined,  and just like all music,  hearing it live brings a new perspective to the piece.  There is so much you don't get to experience when listening to a recording.  I get a similar reaction in the difference between seeing Monet's art in a book in comparison to the real deal at a museum.

The first thing that gained my attention was the visual aspect of the piece.  There are many different entrances for all the players.  Instrument sections don't start and end together as a tutti section but single players or a small group of players will have an entrance.  This is also sonically very interesting since you get to hear pockets of sound from many different areas of the stage.  This relates to the second thing that astounded me.  Something as simple as a single performer having one note then another performer or group of performers joining in with the same exact pitch can is a huge effect in the hands of Ligeti.  The final thing that really made me smile was just simply hearing the sound blossom in a big space.  It was something I've never quite experienced before hearing some of the tight intervals develop and blossom and sounding more consonant than a perfectly in tune C major chord.  It's all context I guess.


I know there is a lot I'm neglecting to include.  I'm hoping to find the time to go again Sunday,  if even just for the Ligeti.  If you ever get a chance to hear his music live, it's an amazing experience.

Allan
 

karlhenning

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2007, 05:25:11 AM »
Wonderful, Allan!

Offline Brewski

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Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2007, 05:36:13 AM »
Allan, thanks for the great post-concert comments, and you can hear the excitement in your writing.  It's a fantastic thing to hear live, eh!  I heard it last October with the NY Phil with Jonathan Nott conducting -- was excellent -- but it must have been great to hear it with Cleveland. 

You're absolutely right about all the staggered entrances.  I haven't seen the score, but I'd bet that each section (i.e., the strings) is divided into at least three or four parts, or even individual parts.  (Maybe someone who has seen it can weigh in.)  And the spatial thing is crucial.  As marvelous as it is to hear it in the privacy of your own home, on a great sound system, nothing compares to being there when it as you say, blossoms in a big space. 

PS, that's a nice program, with the Haydn "Drumroll" and the Brahms Second -- if I were there I'd go again!  :D

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY